“My friends say we’ve got to watch it,” my husband mentioned again.
He was talking about the Apple TV series, Ted Lasso.
A basic summary?
Ted is an American Football College coach who is recruited to coach a professional soccer team in England.
It sounded intriguing and my husband doesn’t usually push for us to watch TV so I gave it a try.
Jason Sedaris (SNL) stars as Ted Lasso, a middle-aged coach with a thick Southern drawl, optimism that doesn’t stop, and an assistant coach that says little and loves chess. Ted is surrounded by young, at-the-prime-of-their life superstars with big egos and larger than life habits. There are nefarious side characters, deceitful motivation, and twists and turns that I don’t want to reveal because…
You’ve. Got. To. Watch. This. Show.
I mean, please don’t watch it in front of your kids—the language is beyond and there are sexual jokes and innuendos thrown in that do little to add to the show but still, it is seriously worth watching. Not only do I predict that Jason Sedaris will be defined by his portrayal of Ted Lasso, but the show is unique. Because, aside form the above mentioned elements that make the show unwatchable for kids, Ted Lasso is such a strong (and intrinsically good) central character.
Not perfect. Not dumb. Not annoying.
Trying to Figure Out Why I Like Ted
It took me a while to reconcile the feelings I was having towards Ted—his drawl making me question his intellect (I’m from the South but not immune to this instinct) and, like the characters surrounding him, it took a bit for me to really size him up.
But then I realized, Ted Lasso is pretty awesome. And I know it’s a TV show and I know Ted Lasso does not exist, but I was inspired nonetheless.
So, over walks with our dog and morning coffee, my husband and I dissected Ted Lasso and tried to put our finger on why we liked the show and the character.
In the end, I realized that what I loved was his confidence. It’s an authentic confidence, born from an awareness, a mindfulness, that propels his actions and fortifies his spirit.
I wrote about being mindful when making decisions, and making a decision to be more confident is doable and achievable. If you don’t believe me, watch Ted Lasso for yourself and pay special attention to these four traits and behaviors that make him a lovable, confidence leading character.
Ted Lasso has a Mission that is Bigger than Himself
Although you don’t know this initially, Ted Lasso is not out to win. This, in fact, turns out to be a bit of an issue but you’ll have to watch the show to get those details. 🙂
In fact, Ted Lasso is called/motivated/on a mission/etc. to help guide and raise young men. In the series he works with men, gifted with good looks, charm, athletic ability, and power.
Obviously the mixture of youth + all of those amazing things + a shitload of money can lead to a whole-lot-of-bad. The professionals he works with are still figuring out their way in the world.
His mission is to guide them to lead good lives, not to win games.
His mission is bigger than himself, bigger than his ego.
He wants to support people as they grow into who they will become.
“For me, success is not about the wins and losses. It’s about helping these young fellas be the best versions of themselves on and off the field.”Ted Lasso
Ted’s Mission Motivates his Actions
As you can imagine, Ted’s mission means that his actions are not strictly guided by his desire to build a powerhouse of a team. Although winning certainly is a priority, it is not THE priority.
So when a star player bombs and acts like the whole world is falling down, Ted doesn’t beat him up. He doesn’t chastise him or ridicule him into action, or put pressure on him to try harder to lead the team to victory.
Ted helps him to step back a bit and to reframe what really happened.
Ted is Immune to Naysayers & Outside Events
Away from the field and locker room, Ted lives in a little village filled with neighborhood locals and die-hard football fans. When he loses, people aren’t afraid to vent their opinions about the American coach with absolutely no experience coaching soccer.
Whether the fans are booing him, calling him English terms that are the opposite of endearing, or are giving him a proud pat on the back, Ted seems to react the same way:
He acts as if his vilification or his validation are one and the same.
Neither seem to bring him down or puff him up.
Instead, his inner compass is stronger than outer events.
Ted has a Sense of Humor
After watching the series you’ll definitely walk away knowing this fact is true. From joking about his own performance to poking (friendly fun) at the new situation he finds himself in, Ted’s dialogue focuses on laughter and levity, not rumination and condemnation.
When practice doesn’t go well?
“I’m not exactly sure what y’all’s smallest unit of measurement is over here, but that’s about how much headway I made.”
“That’s right there, that’s a scone. Tastes like a muffin except it sucks all the spit out of your mouth.”
“When it comes to locker rooms, I like ’em just like my mother’s bathing suits. I only wanna see ’em in one piece.”
Moving on and putting the past behind you?
“You know what the happiest animal in the world is? It’s a goldfish. It’s got a 10 second memory. Be a goldfish!”
When things go wrong, it’s easy to moan and vent and get down on yourself. Or, you could do like Ted does: find a little humor, laugh a bit, and move on.
Remember Ted Lasso When You Need a Boost
I’ll be the first to admit that none of the habits I mentioned are unique or groundbreaking. In fact, you’ve probably read things like this before. But, even though we all know WHAT to do, that doesn’t mean that we always do it. That’s what I love about this show. I love watching Ted Lasso actually execute, time-and-time again.
So, whenever you feel as though you aren’t living up to who you want to be, when you feel as though you need a confidence boost, think about Ted Lasso and his confidence formula:
1. Look outside yourself and focus on others.
2. Take actions that are aligned with your goals.
3. Focus on taking the right actions instead of outside events you cannot control.
4. Laugh, laugh, laugh—don’t take yourself so seriously.
Ted’s form of confidence is one that depends on looking outside of yourself and keeping your eye on the ball.
A game plan for life.
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